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THE CONCEPT OF GOD IN IGBO TRADITIONAL RELIGION

Thesis, Project Topic: The Concept of God in Igbo Traditional Religion According to Metuh,

(A Philosophical Re-Appraisal)


CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

However, the Igbo believe in the existence of minor deities. This belief of theirs is highly treasured in the sense that they are seen to have communion between the living and the dead. Infact the Igbo society is made up the living and dead, where the dead are seen as having impact on the living and even those yet to be born. They help in maintaining harmony in the society. These dead ones are called the “Ancestors’ which comprises both men and women who had good reputation and good deeds when alive.

It is also notable that the introduced of “Chukwu” as the supreme God posed a greater argument. Many scholars tried to escavate the origin of “Chukwu” and they later discovered that the name was not original to the Igbo. The name was associated with the people of Aro who had their Oracle as Chukwu, and the missionaries on the other hand took it as the supreme God. The people of Aro had played great role in creating more problems than they tended to solve in the Igbo idea of God.

The overwhelming circumstances that surrounded the idea of God have attracted the attention of philosophers and well meaning academicians in Igbo traditional religion. For this reason therefore, some philosophers and a good number of theologians have endeavoured to establish a logical pattern of proving culture. The Igbo have cultural oriented background and they are bound by the tenets surrounding that culture. To be precise, the Igbo religiousness is not far removal from their culture.

THE STATEMENT OF THE PROGRAMME

We shall establish whether what we hold as enslavement in the modern time was also enslaving for the people before the coming of Christianity. It aims also at investigating into the impact of Christian religion on the lives of people, to enable us find out why some people relinquished their deities, while others hold tenaciously to theirs. Furthermore, to seek the possibility of keeping the values of the traditional religion at the same time liberating people from the shackles of enslavement occasioned by the worship of such deities.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

We shall also aim at examining the idea of God in Igbo worldview in order to determine the reality if expresses. Where they cast light on grasping the proper idea of God, other aspect of Igbo culture will also be investigated.

The purpose of this study is to research into the existence and operation of God in the Igbo traditional religion. The thesis will also investigate the existence of the High God, which has been misrepresented and misconstrued as “Chukwu” is misconstrued as the great God while other minor deities are seen as the subordinate gods and messenger. The Igbo do not buy this idea of “Chukwu” for it does not pass the true assessment in Igbo traditional religion. For this reason therefore, focus will be on protective deity “Chi” which has variously been explained as an emanation of God, a spark of “Divinity”; God within

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The main significance of this work is that we are basing the Igbo talk about God on a critical analysis of the Igbo world view in order to determine the proper idea of God and the reality that the idea expresses.  The study will cover the Igbo general notion or conception of God as case study. References are made to deities of Igbo land to derive our points home. The result can be applied to wider communities of Igbo people. But the interest of the research centres more on the Igbo general conception of God. Igbo people have regards to their God even before the coming of the white missionaries. We shall examine this conception they have about god, and the impact created by the white missionaries.

1.6   METHODOLOGY OF STUDY 

 

Our research methodology is of two folds; first, we shall use library research method. Here we shall study what has been documented by some authors hitherto in the same filed of study. We shall critically evaluate theological ideas and conclusions which are valid to respond to the issues of the god among the Igbo traditional religion. The second method involves administration of questionnaire and personal interview

1.5   SCOPE OF STUDY

This is just a typical example of what the study is trying to explicate to the best of it’s ability. The study will help us to have a better understanding of our culture and belief, and it will also showcase the relationship between God and man in our existential world.

It will interest us at this junction to note that the conception of God in Igbo traditional religion is not crystal clear to many Igbo people. Whether we are traditional worshipers or not, it is of paramount importance that we become acquaintance to the idea of God in our traditional religion.

Another aim of this work is to take further the discussion on the Igbo traditional worldview and culture, considering at the same time the challenges it had to face from especially Christian missionaries of the former time.

—This article is incomplete———–This article is incomplete———— It was extracted from a well articulated quality Project, Research Work/Material

Topic: The Concept of God in Igbo Traditional Religion According to Metuh,

(A Philosophical Re-Appraisal)

 

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